The CBC reports that staff at Ontario’s Point Pelee National Park say they have found more caterpillars this year, as well as male monarchs defending patches of milkweed. Monarchs need that once-ubiquitous plant to breed and feed.
“We’re definitely seeing more monarchs fluttering around the park this year than we did at the same time last year, so that’s encouraging for all of us,” said park interpreter Sarah Rupert.
Chip Taylor, director of Monarch Watch, says that after an all-time low population last year, the number of monarchs could rise by 30 to 40 percent this fall.
Loss of habitat and pesticide use due to expanding agriculture is mainly to blame, according to experts.
Last summer’s extreme drought in the U.S. Corn Belt wiped out huge numbers of milkweeds.
Monarch experts say that was a fatal blow to many of the iconic fliers.
Photo: Monarch Watch